Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running thisweekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.
This is an abbreviated version of the Packers Bye Week Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers Bye Week Dope Sheet:
GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-3) BYE WEEK
PACKERS IN FIRST PLACE IN THE NFC NORTH AT THE BYE
REST AND RECOVERY
- The Week 10 bye for Green Bay is the latest the Packers have ever had, in contrast to last season when Green Bay had its off week in Week 5, which was the earliest in a decade.
- Green Bay beat Dallas, 45-7, on Sunday night, the Packers’ eighth win in their last nine games at Lambeau Field. The Packers have a 23-8 (.742) mark over their past 31 games at home, the top home record in the NFC over that span.
- The Packers enter the bye on a three-game winning streak following victories over Minnesota, the N.Y. Jets and Dallas, and sit atop the NFC North at 6-3, a half game ahead of Chicago. The last time Green Bay entered the off week on a three-game winning streak was 2004. It is the third time in the past four years under Head Coach Mike McCarthy that the Packers won their game before the bye.
- Green Bay has had more than its share of injuries this season, with five opening-day starters on injured reserve. Several other Packers are banged up, so the bye week comes at a good time for a Green Bay team that will be heading into one of its tougher stretches of the season.
- The Packers will come out of the bye with back-to-back games on the road at Minnesota and Atlanta. It is the third time in four seasons that Green Bay has come out of the week off with consecutive road games (2007, 2008).
- Of the Packers’ first five games following the bye, four of them will be away from Lambeau Field. Since the NFL introduced a bye week to the schedule in 1990, Green Bay has never played four road games in its first five contests after the bye.
- Green Bay is one of only two teams in the NFL this season to play four road games in a five-week stretch following the bye, with St. Louis being the only other.
- The last time the Packers played four road games in a five-week stretch was in 2007 (Weeks 12, 13, 15, 16).
- In games immediately following their bye week, the Packers have won 10 of their last 14. Under McCarthy, the team is 3-1.
- In 2006, Green Bay got a hard-earned victory at Miami in scorching temperatures. McCarthy called the game a clear turning point in the season as the team collected seven of its eight wins after the bye.
- The next season, it enjoyed one of its more memorable victories in the week following the bye. In a Monday night contest, WR Greg Jennings hauled in an 82-yard TD pass on the first play of overtime to beat the Broncos in Denver. The Packers finished 8-2 (.800) after the bye that season, which helped wrap up a first-round playoff bye.
- In 2008, the Packers fought hard and forced overtime against previously unbeaten Tennessee in Nashville. Green Bay eventually dropped the game, 19-16.
- Green Bay finished a disappointing 2-7 (.222) after the bye week in 2008, a stark contrast to the previous two seasons under McCarthy.
- Last season, the Packers shut out the Detroit Lions, 26-0, at Lambeau Field, and Green Bay posted a 9-3 (.750) mark following the bye.
- Since 2000, the Packers over the balance of their season after the bye are a combined 62-36 (.633).
DEFENSE GETTING IT DONE
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy referred to the week leading up to the Dallas game as a “seven-day season,” as the Packers turned all of their attention on going into the bye on a high note.
- Green Bay came through with its most complete performance of the season against the Cowboys, posting a season-high point total in the 45-7 victory. The 38-point win was the largest margin of victory by either team in the history of the series.
- The Packers scored 28 points in the second quarter, their most in a quarter since they recorded the same number against the L.A. Rams on Dec. 20, 1992, in the second quarter, and the offense converted 10-of-15 third downs (66.7 percent) on the way to 415 total yards.
- After Green Bay’s defense shut out the Jets the week before, they held the Cowboys to just seven points and a season-low 205 yards of offense. The defense also scored a TD for the second time in the last three games, this time on a 62-yard INT return by LB Clay Matthews.
- The Packers’ special teams got into the scoring act as well, with S Nick Collins returning a fumble on a kickoff return 26 yards for a TD. It was one of two takeaways on the night for the special-teams units, their first two-turnover game since vs. Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 2007.
Team - Rushing Yds. Allowed Per Game
- After finishing No. 2 in the league’s final overall rankings and No. 7 in points allowed in 2009, the defense is off to an even more productive start when it comes to keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
- The Packers rank No. 2 in the league in points given up, allowing the opposition an average of just 15.9 points per game, an improvement over last season’s average of 18.6 per contest. Green Bay currently ranks No. 14 in the NFL in overall defense, allowing an average of 326.0 yards per game through the first nine games.
- The defense has limited opposing signal-callers to a passer rating of just 68.3, which ranks No. 1 in the NFL. The defense has recorded 14 interceptions, which is tied with Tampa Bay for No. 1 in the league, and opposing quarterbacks have completed 57.2 percent of their passes (No. 8). The Packers have given up only nine TD passes, which is tied for No. 6 in the NFL. The 68.3 rating is a shade below what the defense allowed in 2009 when it finished No. 4 in the league rankings in that category with a 68.8 rating by opposing QBs.
- After leading the NFL in run defense for the first time in 2009 by allowing a franchise-record 83.3 yards per game, the Packers haven’t been as stingy against the run thus far this season, ranking No. 20 in the league (114.2 yards per game), but have really come on of late.
- In the win over Dallas on Sunday night, the Packers limited the Cowboys to just 39 rushing yards on 14 carries (2.8 avg.). That was the fewest yards given up by a Green Bay defense since Detroit was limited to 33 yards on the ground on Oct. 17, 2004.
- At the N.Y. Jets in Week 8, the defense registered the first road shutout by the Packers since 1991 against an offense that entered the game ranked No. 2 in the league in rushing offense at 159.2 yards per game.
- Facing LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, the Packers limited the tandem to just 76 yards on 22 carries (3.5 avg.), their lowest combined effort of the season.
- Until Vikings RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 131 yards in Week 7, Green Bay’s defense hadn’t allowed a running back to rush for 100 yards for 19 straight games.
- That streak was the second longest in in team history since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, trailing only a 24-game game stretch from Sept. 20, 1970-Nov. 22, 1971.
- Under Capers, the Packers thrived in their new 3-4 scheme in 2009. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 against the run and No. 5 against the pass.
- The previous top ranking in franchise history in run defense came in 1972, when the team finished No. 2.
- Green Bay allowed an average of 284.4 total yards per game in ’09, second behind the N.Y. Jets (252.3) and ahead of No. 3 Baltimore (300.5).
- In the first two years of the Mike McCarthy tenure, Green Bay’s defense was close to being a top-10 unit, finishing at No. 12 in 2006 and No. 11 in 2007. In 2008, it slipped to No. 20 before making the jump up to No. 2 last year.
- A look at some of Green Bay’s defensive numbers since Capers took over as coordinator in 2009:
1. Pittsburgh - 79.3
2. Minnesota - 90.23. Green Bay - 94.4Team - Rushing TDs Allowed1. Green Bay - 9
2. Pittsburgh - 10
3. Minnesota - 11Team - Opponent Passer Rating
1. N.Y. Jets - 65.52. Green Bay - 68.6
3. New Orleans - 70.5Team - Interceptions 1. Green Bay - 44
2. Philadelphia - 38
3t. Three teams - 33Team - Sacks
1. Pittsburgh - 71
2. Philadelphia - 683t. Green Bay, Miami - 65TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- After tying for the league lead in points off of takeaways last season, the Packers are once again sitting atop the NFL rankings in 2010.
- Green Bay leads the NFL with 80 points off of takeaways, 13 points ahead of No. 2 Detroit. The Packers are tied for No. 5 in the NFL with a plus-6 turnover ratio, and have a plus-7 mark in just the last two games.
- Of the Packers’ 19 takeaways this season, 11 of them have been converted into TDs. That 57.9 TD percentage ranks No. 2 in the NFL behind only Kansas City (7-12, 58.3 percent), and Green Bay’s 11 TDs off of takeaways lead the NFL.
- Green Bay is tied with Tampa Bay for the league lead in both interceptions (14) and INTs for TDs (three). With LB Clay Matthews’ INT for a TD on Sunday night vs. Dallas, the Packers have now posted at least three INTs for TDs in each of the last three seasons. That is the first time in franchise history that Green Bay has accomplished that feat. The Packers have posted at least three INTs for TDs in four of five seasons under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
- Scoring points off of turnovers has become a trend for the Packers at Lambeau Field, as they have a current streak of 15 straight games at home with points scored that were set up by a takeaway. That home streak ranks first in the NFL.
- The Packers have had 10 different players post an interception this season, which is tied with Atlanta for No. 1 in the NFL, and that number is the most by the Packers in a season since 11 in 2002.
- Green Bay posted 30 INTs and 10 fumble recoveries in 2009, which it turned into 141 points. The 40 takeaways led the NFL, and the 141 points scored off those takeaways tied New Orleans for most in the NFL.
- The 30 interceptions led the league and was the team’s highest single-season total since 1981, when it also had 30.
- Last season Green Bay surpassed its 2008 total of 124 points off takeaways, which led the NFL. It also eclipsed its ’08 total in interceptions (22) and fumble recoveries (six) while at the same time protecting the ball at a better clip. Green Bay’s 16 giveaways was the lowest total in the NFL in 2009.
- If the Packers don’t commit a turnover, like they didn’t against Dallas this past Sunday for the second straight week, they’re almost guaranteed to win. They have now won 41 of 45 games playing turnover-free football, since a loss at Dallas, Nov. 18, 1996. Green Bay’s only losses in such games during that stretch came three times against Minnesota, twice in Minneapolis (2005, ’08) and once at home (2009), and in Week 15 last year at Pittsburgh. Green Bay hasn’t turned the ball over in the last 10 quarters of play.
- Including playoffs, the Packers have won 44 of their last 48 games when they don’t turn the ball over. Under McCarthy, Green Bay is 18-3 (.857) when its turnover margin is plus-2 or better.
- During McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers have a 33-6 (.846) record when they come out ahead in the game in turnover ratio, and a 6-17 (.261) record when they lose the takeaway battle.
CLAY FINDS A WAY
- After recording six sacks in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the most by any NFL
- team on opening weekend, the Packers have followed that debut up with
- 22 more sacks in the next eight games.
- Green Bay’s 28 sacks as a team through Week 9 lead the NFL. The Packers lead the league in sack yardage with 186 yards and have had 12 different players record a sack this season.
- The Packers’ 28 sacks through the first nine games are the most by a Green Bay defense since the 2006 squad registered 31 sacks in the first nine contests.
- Green Bay was shut out in the sack column for the first time this season in Week 6 against Miami. The Packers have failed to register a sack only two times in the past 18 regular-season games.
- The Packers’ 21 sacks in the first five games this year were the most in a five-game span in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s five seasons.
- Green Bay recorded five sacks at Washington in Week 5, the Packers’ second five-sack game this season. Green Bay is one of only three teams in the league (Detroit, Tennessee) to post two five-sack games in 2010.
- Of the team’s 28 sacks, 10.5 have come courtesy of LB Clay Matthews, who leads the NFL in that category. DE Cullen Jenkins, who ranks second on the team with four sacks, posted a sack in each of the first four games.
- The Packers are already well ahead of their sack pace from last season, when Green Bay’s 28th sack didn’t come until Week 14 at Chicago.
- Green Bay has posted four or more sacks in a game four times already this season, which already eclipses the 2009 total of three. The Packers recorded 37 sacks last season, which was tied for No. 11 in the league.
- The Packers’ best league ranking in sacks is No. 3, a spot they held on three occasions (1965, 1966, 2001).
PLENTY OF PRODUCTION INSIDE THE 20
- Despite sitting out Green Bay’s Week 6 matchup vs. Miami due to a hamstring injury, the first time he missed a game in his career, LB Clay Matthews leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks this season.
- With a sack of QB Jon Kitna in the second quarter on Sunday night against Dallas, Matthews became the first Packer since the stat became official in 1982 to register a double-digit sack total in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.
- Matthews also posted his first career interception on Sunday night, and returned the pick 62 yards for a TD on his way to earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time in his career. It was the second TD of his career, and both of his scores have come in prime-time games. Matthews returned a fumble 42 yards for a TD last season in Week 4 at Minnesota on Monday Night Football.
- With three sacks against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, Matthews became the first Packer to post three sacks in back-to-back games since it became an official league statistic in 1982.
- The performance vs. Buffalo came a week after Matthews registered a career-high three sacks in the Packers’ 27-20 season-opening victory at Philadelphia.
- Matthews was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2, and he also won the award last season for his two-sack outing vs. Baltimore in Week 13 on MNF.
- Matthews’ six sacks in the first two games of the season were the most ever by a Packer to start a year.
- His 33 sack yards vs. Buffalo were the most by a Packer since DE Reggie White’s 35 on two sacks vs. Minnesota on Oct. 22, 1995. Matthews leads the league with 67.5 sack yards on the season. Aaron Kampman (108 in 2006) holds the single-season team record for sack yardage.
- His six sacks over a two-game span rank second in team history behind only Bryce Paup, who recorded 6.5 sacks in Weeks 3-4 in 1991. Paup posted 4.5 sacks vs. Tampa Bay on Sept. 15, and then followed that up with two more the next week at Miami on Sept. 22.
- In just 24 career games played, Matthews has posted two or more sacks in a game five times. Those five set a franchise record for the most two-sack games over the first 18 games in a Packers uniform, breaking White’s mark of four in his first 18 games with Green Bay (1993-94).
- Matthews’ 20.5 sacks since 2009 rank No. 1 in the NFL.
- Matthews’ 17 sacks in his first 20 games were the most ever by any NFL player to start a career. It topped the previous mark of 16.5 set by San Diego’s Leslie O’Neal (1986, 1988) and the N.Y. Jets’ John Abraham (2000-01).
- In 2009, Matthews set a Packers rookie record with 10 sacks on his way to earning Pro Bowl honors, the first Green Bay rookie to be named to the all-star game since Hall of Fame WR James Lofton in 1978.
SHOWING OFF SOME OTHER SKILLS
- Green Bay has had one of the more efficient red-zone offenses in the league over the past two seasons, finishing in the top 10 in the NFL in 2008 and 2009.
- Through nine games this season, the Packers are off to another productive start, having scored touchdowns on 18 of 28 trips inside the opponent’s 20. That 64.3 percent touchdown rate ranks No. 5 in the NFL, and the 18 TDs rank tied for No. 4.
- Green Bay’s 141 points in the red zone this season (18 touchdowns, five field goals) rank No. 8 in the league. Its average of 5.04 points per red-zone trip ranks No. 5 in the NFL.
- The highest red-zone conversion mark under Head Coach Mike McCarthy came in 2008, when the Packers ranked No. 6 in the NFL with a 60.4 percent touchdown rate.
- Much of Green Bay’s success in the red zone has to be credited to the play of QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been one of the more efficient signal-callers in the league inside the 20 since taking over as the starter in 2008.
- In Week 7 against Minnesota, Rodgers threw a red-zone interception for the first time in 39 career starts. Since 2008, he has registered a 106.7 rating on 113-of-185 passing (61.1 percent) for 727 yards and 47 touchdowns with one interception in the red zone.
- According to STATS, Rodgers has connected on 28-of-43 passes (65.1 percent) for 189 yards and 11 TDs with one INT in the red zone in 2010.
FIGHTING THROUGH ADVERSITY
- When QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled for a season-long 27-yard gain to convert a third-and-6 against Dallas on Sunday night that set up a TD three plays later, it was just an another example of his ability to make plays with his feet.
- With 173 yards on 34 attempts (5.1 avg.) this season, Rodgers ranks No. 3 among NFL QBs in rushing yards.
- In 2009, Rodgers finished second among all NFL quarterbacks (David Garrard, 323) with 316 rushing yards, the most by a Green Bay QB since Don Majkowski posted 358 yards on the ground in 1989.
- Rodgers also led all NFL signal-callers with five rushing touchdowns in ’09, the most by a Packers QB since Majkowski’s five in ’89.
- It was the second straight year Rodgers had posted four touchdowns in a season, making him just the third QB in franchise annals to accomplish that feat (Tobin Rote, 1954-56; Scott Hunter, 1971-72).
- With his third rushing TD of the season in Week 6 vs. Miami, Rodgers became the first Packers QB since Rote (1954-56) to rush for three or more TDs in three straight seasons.
- Of his 92 rushing attempts since 2009, nearly a quarter (22) have been for 10 or more yards. He has posted a 10-yard run in six of nine games this season, and in 17 of his last 25 games.
- Since 2009, Rodgers ranks No. 1 among QBs in rushing yards (489), rushing TDs (eight) and 10-yard runs (22).
Opening-Day Starters - Games Missed
- Every team in the league has to deal with injuries at some point in the year, and the Packers have already had to deal with a season’s worth of significant ones in just the first half of the season.
- The Packers have lost five players who started in Week 1 for the remainder of the season due to injuries, two on offense and three on defense.
- RB Ryan Grant, coming off back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons, sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 1 at Philadelphia. TE Jermichael Finley, whose 301 yards receiving in the first four games was the best start ever to a season by a Green Bay tight end, was lost for the year after suffering a knee injury on the second play from scrimmage at Washington in Week 5.
- Rookie S Morgan Burnett, who became only the second Packers rookie safety to start a season opener since 1988, sustained a season-ending knee injury against Detroit in Week 4. In the same game, LB Nick Barnett, the No. 2 tackler in franchise history, suffered a wrist injury that brought an end to his season. LB Brad Jones saw his season come to an end after sustaining a shoulder injury in Week 7 vs. Minnesota.
- The Packers currently have 10 players on injured reserve, and six of those players started at least one game this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other team in the league has more than three players on injured reserve that started a game in 2010.
- Here is a look at the starters and key reserves that have missed games due to injury this season:
RB Ryan Grant (ankle/IR) - 8
S Morgan Burnett (knee/IR) - 6
LB Nick Barnett (wrist/IR) - 5
T Mark Tauscher (shoulder) - 5
TE Jermichael Finley (knee/IR) - 4
LB Brad Jones (shoulder/IR) - 3
DE Ryan Pickett (ankle) - 2
DE Cullen Jenkins (calf) - 1
LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) - 1Key Reserves - Games Missed
DE Justin Harrell (knee/IR) - 8
DE Mike Neal (shoulder/IR) - 7
S Derrick Martin (knee/IR) - 4
LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder) - 3
LB Brady Poppinga (knee/IR) - 3
CB Sam Shields (calf) - 2THIRD-DOWN IMPROVEMENT
SPREADING IT AROUND
- Green Bay’s offense hasn’t had the same kind of success that it enjoyed last season on third down, but in the 45-7 win over Dallas on Sunday night, the Packers recorded the finest performance in that area in more than five years.
- Coming into the game ranked No. 26 in the league with a 35.1 conversion rate on third down this season, the offense was successful on 10-of-15 third-down opportunities against the Cowboys, including 7-of-8 in the first half.
- That percentage of 66.7 was the best single-game performance by a Green Bay offense since the Packers were successful on 71.4 percent of their third-down opportunities (10-of-14) vs. Cleveland on Sept. 18, 2005.
- With the strong showing on Sunday night, the Packers moved up 10 spots in the league rankings in the category, checking in at No. 16 with a 39.4 conversion rate.
- The Packers were one of the best teams in the league on third down in 2009, as they converted at a 47.0 percent clip. That led the NFC and ranked No. 3 in the NFL.
- QB Aaron Rodgers’ play on third down was a big factor in Green Bay’s success as he ranked No. 1 in the NFL in passer rating on third down at 133.5. No other quarterback in the league threw for as many yards (1,710) or touchdowns (14) on third down as Rodgers, and his passer rating was the best in the NFL since Kurt Warner’s 137.3 rating in 1999 with St. Louis.
- This season the Packers have had some success in third-and-long situations, and are tied for No. 4 in the NFL with a 32.7 conversion rate when they need 6 or more yards on third down.
- With back-to-back 1,200-yard rusher Ryan Grant lost for the season after sustaining an ankle injury in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the Packers have turned to a couple of backs to carry the load for the offense.
- Brandon Jackson, who excelled in his role as a third-down back in 2009, leads the team with 460 rushing yards on 108 carries this season (4.3 avg.), and yards from scrimmage with 653. He is one of 12 NFL running backs with 450 yards rushing and 150 yards receiving this season.
- Jackson posted a career-high 115 yards on 10 carries (11.5 avg.) at Washington in Week 5, highlighted by a career-long 71-yard run on his first carry of the game.
- Jackson posted one of the finest all-around performances of his career vs. Minnesota in Week 7, recording 104 yards from scrimmage (58 rushing, 46 receiving). His 36-yard pickup on a first-quarter screen pass was his career-long reception.
- Jackson also has 25 receptions for 193 yards (7.7 avg.) this season, with the yardage total a career high. It tops his previous mark of 187 yards receiving last season.
- Against Dallas on Sunday night, Jackson posted a rushing TD and a receiving TD, only the second time in his career that he scored on both in a game (vs. Seattle, Dec. 27, 2009).
- The Packers rushed for 157 yards as a team at Washington in Week 5 on just 17 carries (9.2 avg.). It was the first time in team history that the Packers rushed for 150 yards in a regular-season game on fewer than 20 carries.
- The Packers’ rushing average of 9.2 yards per carry against the Redskins was the best single-game performance (min. 15 attempts) in a regular-season game in team history.
- John Kuhn, primarily at fullback during his first three seasons in Green Bay, has been given more opportunities to carry the ball at RB. Against Detroit in Week 4, Kuhn posted 34 of his 39 rushing yards on the final series, as the Packers ran out the final 6:32 in the 28-26 win. He has 175 rushing yards on 49 carries (3.6 avg.) this season.
- Kuhn recorded career highs in both carries (13) and rushing yards (50) against the Cowboys, highlighted by a 17-yard run in the second quarter to convert a third down.
- Green Bay’s 26 runs of 10-plus yards rank No. 10 in the NFL. Last season the Packers ranked No. 23 in the league with 42 runs of 10 yards or more.
YOUTH IS SERVED
- After outscoring their opponents a combined 54-7 over the past two games, the Packers find themselves atop the scoring differential column.
- The Packers have outscored their opponents 221-143 this season, and that 78-point differential is the largest in the NFL through Week 9. Green Bay ranks No. 6 in the NFL with an average margin of victory of 14.5.
- Last season the Packers ranked No. 3 in the league with an average margin of victory of 18.27, their highest mark since a 21.31 mark in their Super Bowl season of 1996.
- In 2009, Green Bay ranked No. 2 in the league in scoring differential, with a 164-point advantage over its opponents (461-297). That was second in the league to only the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints’ 169-point differential (510-341).
- The Packers have been particularly productive starting each half this season. They have outscored their opponents 54-17 in the first quarter, and that 37-point margin in the opening quarter ranks No. 1 in the league.
- Green Bay has been equally productive to open the second half, outscoring its opponents 59-23 in the third quarter. That margin of 36 points ranks second in the NFL to only San Diego’s 39-point edge.
- The Packers rank No. 2 in the league in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of just 15.9 points per game. The last time Green Bay held its opponents to an average of under 16 points a game in a season came in the ’96 campaign when the Packers led the league in scoring defense at 13.1 points per game.
- The Packers rank No. 9 in scoring with an average of 24.6 points per game.
ALL THREE PHASES CONTRIBUTE IN WIN
- Whenever injuries occur, it is a chance for other players on the roster to show what they are capable of in an expanded role. For Green Bay this season, many of those opportunities have gone to younger players.
- Six Green Bay rookies have started a game in 2010, tied with Kansas City and New England for the most in the league. The last time the Packers had that many rookies start at least one game in a season came in 2007 (also six).
- S Morgan Burnett, a third-round pick out of Georgia Tech, became only the second Packers rookie safety to start on opening day since 1988. He opened the first four games, posting 15 tackles and an interception, before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 4.
- Burnett was joined in the starting lineup in Week 1 by nickel CB Sam Shields, a non-drafted rookie out of Miami. It was the first time since the 1970 merger that the Packers started two rookie DBs on opening day. Shields has 12 tackles and an interception in seven games played as the Packers’ nickel cornerback.
- T Bryan Bulaga, the team’s first-round pick out of Iowa who worked at LT and LG all preseason, has started each of the past five games at RT in place of injured veteran Mark Tauscher.
- LB Frank Zombo, a non-drafted free agent from Central Michigan, has played in every game with four starts and ranks tied for third among all NFL rookies with two sacks. He leads all Green Bay rookies with 37 tackles (24 solo) and a forced fumble.
- TE Andrew Quarless started his first career game vs. Detroit in Week 4 and figures to factor more prominently in the offense with starting TE Jermichael Finley (knee) lost for the season. Quarless posted 51 yards receiving at Washington in Week 5 to become the first Packers rookie TE to register a 50-yard game since Bubba Franks in 2000. Quarless scored his first NFL TD on a 9-yard reception in the Week 7 win vs. Minnesota.
- DE C.J. Wilson, a seventh-round selection from East Carolina, started for the first time in his career in Week 6 vs. Miami in place of an injured Ryan Pickett, and posted four tackles. He has seen significant time in the past three games, recording 15 tackles (nine solo) in those contests. Wilson registered his first career sack on Sunday against Dallas, bringing down QB Jon Kitna on the final play of the game.
290 AND COUNTING
- The Packers have been striving for a “complete” performance all season,
- and they got just that on Sunday night in a 45-7 win over the Dallas
- Cowboys, Green Bay’s third straight victory.
- The offense recorded the best performance by the Packers on third down in more than five years on the way to over 400 net yards and the season-high 45 points, the defense followed up last week’s shutout by giving up just 39 rushing yards and seven points while scoring a touchdown of its own, and the special teams recorded two takeaways and a score as Green Bay improved to a division-leading 6-3 mark in front of 70,913 at Lambeau Field.
- “You always strive to play a complete game,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “We accomplished that tonight. Very pleased with the special teams, the two big takeaways. The defense, they just swarmed all over them, kept them out of the end zone, and the offense got into a rhythm. Really liked the way our run pass ratio was tonight, and third down was a key for us.
- “We played a complete football game tonight. This is the way you want to go into the bye week.”
- Green Bay got on the board first on Sunday night, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers finding running back Brandon Jackson on a screen for a 9-yard touchdown early in the second quarter as Jackson made a nifty move to avoid a tackle by linebacker Sean Lee. The key play on the drive was a season-long 27-yard run by Rodgers down to the Dallas 17 to convert a third down. Green Bay had taken over at its own 37 to start the drive after rookie cornerback Sam Shields made a one-handed interception down the sideline as he covered wide receiver Miles Austin.
- After the defense forced a three-and-out by Dallas, Rodgers quickly moved the offense down the field behind back-to-back completions to wide receiver James Jones (career-high eight receptions for 123 yards) of 22 and 31 yards respectively that put the ball at the Dallas 2. Jackson (42 yards on 13 carries) scored his second touchdown of the night, this time on the ground, on the next play to put Green Bay up 14-0. The seven-play, 80-yard drive took just 3:52.
- Green Bay’s defense came up with another three-and-out on the next possession, with linebacker Clay Matthews delivering a big hit on running back Marion Barber on third-and-1 for a 3-yard loss. Taking over at its own 7-yard line, the offense wasted no time adding to the lead.
- Running back John Kuhn (career-high 50 yards on 13 carries), found a big hole off right tackle for a 17-yard pickup out to midfield on third down, and three plays later Rodgers lofted a perfect pass over the shoulder of wide receiver Greg Jennings down the left sideline for a 33-yard gain. Two plays later, the tandem hooked up again, this time on an 8-yard pass over the middle for a touchdown on the third consecutive drive.
- But the Packers weren’t done. On the ensuing kickoff, cornerback Jarrett Bush ripped the ball out from returner Bryan McCann, and safety Nick Collins caught the fumble in the air and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. It appeared that McCann’s knee may have been down before the ball came out, but the Cowboys couldn’t challenge the ruling because they had already called all three of their timeouts in the first half.
- The 28 points posted by the Packers in the second quarter alone were the most in a quarter since they registered the same number vs. the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 20, 1992, and the 16 first downs were the most in a half by Green Bay since they put up the same number in the first half against San Francisco last season in Week 11.
- “This is a good one to go back and maybe watch and get a good feeling about it because we did some good things,” Rodgers said. “We just ran our stuff. I think that’s the key tonight. We didn’t call a bunch of plays we didn’t have a lot of reps in. We made plays after the catch. We did the things we’ve been doing here as long as I’ve been here.
- “So I think this will be one to really get some good feelings about and hopefully be able to keep the same kind of momentum going.”
- Dallas got its lone score of the night right before halftime, as quarterback Jon Kitna connected with wide receiver Dez Bryant on a 41-yard pass down to Green Bay’s 2 before the pair hooked up on a 2-yard touchdown pass three plays later.
- The Packers added to their lead in the third quarter, with Rodgers throwing his third touchdown pass of the game, this time to Jones on a slant for the 10-yard score and a 35-7 lead. Rodgers would stay in for one more series, a 16-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off with a 26-yard Mason Crosby field goal early in the fourth quarter, before exiting the game as Matt Flynn took over.
- Rodgers finished the night with 289 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-34 passing (79.4 percent), with no interceptions for the second straight game on his way to a 131.5 passer rating. Coming into the game ranked No. 26 in the league with a 35.1 conversion rate on third down, Rodgers led the offense to a 10-of-15 performance in that area, the highest percentage by Green Bay since a 71.4 mark vs. Cleveland on Sept. 18, 2005.
- “I think we had a good plan,” Rodgers said. “We just got into a flow early. I think I haven’t played this kind of game really this season yet. I’m playing the way I feel like I’m capable of playing. It was nice to play better. It was obviously a combination of a number of things but Mike called some very high-percentage plays early in the game for me, and I feel like I really got into a rhythm early.
- “The runs I thought were effective at times. They played a lot of man coverage, so I was able to get out a couple of times and make positive yards. John had a couple good runs, Brandon ran the ball nicely. So, I think we had good production in the run game but like I said before the third down was the key.”
- With the offense and special teams already getting points on the board, Green Bay’s defense wasn’t going to be left out of the scoring column. Kitna quickly moved the Cowboys to Green Bay’s 30-yard line with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game, but his short pass intended for Austin was tipped by linebacker A.J. Hawk and into the arms of Matthews, who took his first career interception 62 yards for a score.
- It was the finishing touch for a defense that allowed just 39 yards on the ground by the Cowboys, the fewest given up by a Packers defense since 33 yards at Detroit on Oct. 17, 2004. The ability to make Dallas one-dimensional helped the defense get pressure on Kitna as they sacked the veteran signal-caller four times on the way to a 63.6 passer rating (19-of-30, 183 yards, two interceptions).
- “I think last year we might have had our best defensive game against them (17-7 win in Week 10), so I know we felt good coming in here, and it’s kind of exactly where we left off,” Matthews said. “Anytime you can open up a lead and know that they have to start passing the ball ... You shut down the run, that’s when you can really start getting after them and bringing your pressure.”
- Sunday night’s win kept the Packers atop the NFC North, a half game ahead of Chicago (5-3), as they head into the bye week on a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2004.
- “I like the direction,” McCarthy said. “I’m very impressed with the character, the work ethic of this group. Just the fact that every Monday you have a medical report that’s two pages long and get different guys stepping up each week. We’re getting better. That’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to play your best football in November, December. That is so important, as everybody knows. And we’re definitely heading in the right direction.
- “This is a win we can build off of. More importantly, it gives us a chance to reset, you know, as a coaching staff, get these players healthy, get ready for Minnesota. We have four out of five on the road coming off the bye, so we’ve got a very tough part of our schedule ahead of us. It starts at Minnesota.”
- Another packed house at Lambeau Field against the Cowboys in Week 9 brought the stadium’s consecutive sellouts streak to 290 games (274 regular season, 16 playoffs).
- The Week 7 crowd of 71,107 vs. Minnesota was the third-largest regular-season crowd in Lambeau Field history.
- The league’s longest-tenured stadium, Lambeau Field is hosting its 54th season of football this year. A total of 565,666 fans made their way through the turnstiles in the eight home contests in 2009.
- Across American professional sports, only Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (1914) have longer tenures.